Urban Knowledge Hubs - Transformative Societal Spaces for Hybrid Libraries in the Baltic Sea Region

An eventful month has come to an end: Update on events held in April 2024 in Hamburg

30 May 2024
BALTIC UKH’s German project team at the State and University Library Hamburg had the opportunity to present its local pilot project and engage in conversations with the interested public, local AOs and trainee librarians at three different events in April: the annual reception of the Association of Friends of the State and University Library Hamburg, an open exchange to discuss the concept and decision-making process.
Technical details

An integral part of this project is creating open and diverse spaces for feedback on our process, concept and design. After a first opportunity for us to receive feedback during the project’s joint international workshop in March, we also wanted to include local target groups, our colleagues and AOs in the evaluation process. On several occasions, either as part of a larger function or as individual events, in a rather open setting we offered poster presentations on the project, the spatial concept and corresponding drafts as well as information on our approach and the different workshops. This was combined with the chance to ask questions and give us feedback.

The open annual reception of the Association of Friends of the State and University Library Hamburg (Gesellschaft der Freunde der Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg e.V.) combined a planned line-up that included welcoming speeches, music and lightning talks with information booths on innovative projects and departments of the library. We participated with a poster presentation in the space we are co-creating that, coincidentally, was located right next to the venue. It was a pleasant opportunity to update library colleagues, academics and strategic partners on the project and to informally exchange ideas with representatives of our AOs who attended the reception.

Just a day later, we offered an open exchange to bring transparency to the participatory process. Besides presenting our concept and drafts, we wanted to create the opportunity for people to find out what had happened to the ideas raised during the workshops, how they had been processed or why they hadn’t been included in the redesign of the space. This willingness to discuss our decision-making process was well received and we had some insightful conversations. In this context, we also debated if the current name of the space represents the participatory and dialogical character we are aiming at. The search for a more suitable name is still a work in progress though, so stay tuned. However, we will hold on to the reference to the library’s namesake Carl von Ossietzky.

The third and last event in April was an exchange with trainee librarians from Northern Germany as part of their study trip to our library. They got to know various departments of the library with a focus on cooperation and innovation, e.g. regional information portals and DH Lab. The aim of our exchange was not only to get to know our specific project, but also to demonstrate the possibilities of international cooperation and funding for innovative projects in the library sector.

We appreciate people’s time and effort to engage with and enrich our project. Moving on from this eventful April, we are now starting the implementation phase: commissioning of the works, furnishings of the space as well as planning the inauguration and first events in the new space in October 2024. Stay tuned!


Author: Katja Reuter

Photo credits: Miriam Green